DOWNTOWN AUSTIN EARTHQUAKE SHAKE

The Skunks, the band that blasted Austin out of the cosmic cowboy doldrums of the 1970s: Jesse Sublett, Jon Dee Graham

Dear friends: I’ve been swamped with writing work as you may have heard, working with Eddie Wilson on his great Armadillo World Headquarters memoir, a book on Esther’s Follies, and more vintage Austin underworld crime. In the interim, we have the gig at the Townsend Saturday Nov. 14, and a story in the Statesman by Peter Blackstock. It’s nice to see The Skunks get some ink, alongside two other bands (The Next and Standing Waves) who joined in the Raul’s scene after our first gig in January 1978.

“Larry and I have been friends for a long time and I really treasure that,” [Sublett] noted. “Jon Dee is one of the best friends I have, and the great, weird, incendiary rapport we have together is probably the main reason the Skunks still play live gigs.”

Another reason is the bond with audience members who treasure “memories of experiences with our music as landmarks in their lives,” as Sublett puts it. “Back in the day, when we first started, it was validating to see people screaming, angrily expressing their frustration because punk rock was an outlet, a cathartic experience. Now it’s great to play and see people smiling and laughing.”

Peter also had some complimentary comments about my solo EP, Eldorado. Stay tuned for EP Release gigs soon. An excerpt:

Sublett has a new EP out too, though “Eldorado” is a solo affair. It’s something of a companion to his recent true-crime novel “1960s Austin Gangsters.” Though Sublett initially made his name as a musician, first with the Skunks and then Secret Six, he began writing books while living in Los Angeles from 1987 to ’94, and he primarily makes his living as an author today.

Whereas the Standing Waves EP bristles with pop immediacy, Sublett’s “Eldorado” is more of a mood piece, in keeping with the noir sensibility that’s a hallmark of his prose. He alternates between electric and upright acoustic bass, drawn to the latter because “it’s like sculpting sound,” he says.

Please drop in at Justine’s and Chez Nous for meals and drinks as often as possible. Watch some great French films, especially by Jean Pierre Melville, my favorite, or Truffaut, whatever. Viva la France! Serge Gainsbourg, even Johnny Halliday 🙂 Because if the terrorists’ aim was to unite us, they have succeeded in that, at least.

And one final word about that: If I had a zillion dollars, one thing I would invest in is a series of billboards and other messaging that would convey this message:

Hey you jihadi, before you blow yourself up and kill a bunch of innocent babies and women and other people who might otherwise have sympathy for the plight of your people, you should know that your own life is being tragically, stupidly wasted. Those virgins they promised you in the afterlife, they aren’t going to be there. That’s a cynical myth they used to recruit you. Whatever it is you want, murder is not going to get it for you.

Seven hundred students at Kyrene de las Brisas Elementary School celebrated 100 days of peace—no students sent to the office, no arguments, no conflicts—by having a parade through the school, then heading outside for a peace-symbol photo and final cool-down with frosty Otter Pops. It was a great day for the students, teachers and administration, who dressed for the occasion in “peace” wear, school colors of purple and turquoise and gear symbolizing the school mascot, a gecko.

Seven hundred students at Kyrene de las Brisas Elementary School celebrated 100 days of peace—no students sent to the office, no
arguments, no conflicts—by having a parade through the school, then heading outside for a peace-symbol photo and final cool-down
with frosty Otter Pops. It was a great day for the students, teachers and administration, who dressed for the occasion in “peace”
wear, school colors of purple and turquoise and gear symbolizing the school mascot, a gecko.

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